Publisher & Release Date: Holly Bush Books, July 8, 2015
Time and setting: 1893, Boston
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 78 pages
Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
1893 . . . Alice Porterman is released from her duties as a maid and travels home to help her mother care for her sickly brother. But her mother and brother are not in their family home when Alice arrives and she learns the landlord, Albert Donahue, has evicted them into the harsh Boston winter. Alice goes in search of him and is surprised at what she finds.
Albert Donahue, an up-and-coming member of Boston’s elite, made his fortune through hard work and shrewd business deals. But his dreams of a family to share it with have not come true, perhaps until an impertinent young woman enters his home and won’t leave until she speaks to him.
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I have read several of Ms. Bush’s novels, so when I agreed to participate in her Excerpt tour at the last minute, I was happy about it. When I found out that The Maid’s Quarter is a shorter novella, I decided to purchase it, since I found the book description interesting. This is a lovely tale of a young woman, determined to survive and rise above her beginnings.
Alice Porterman arrives home from Washington to find her mother and brother evicted because a small portion of the rent was not paid. Alice immediately goes to the man of affairs for Albert Donahue, the landlord. The rent agent turns her away without giving her any satisfaction. Not willing to fade back into the background, she finds out Mr. Donahue’s address and goes to his home to confront him.
When Albert Donahue meets Alice, he is immediately smitten and is determined to get to the bottom of what has led to her family’s eviction. He quickly learns of his employee’s fraud and sets about righting the wrong. After several enchanting encounters with Alice, he realizes he has fallen in love with the beautiful auburn-haired woman. When Alice suddenly refuses to see him again, Albert is left wondering what he could have done to offend her.
Will the secret Alice keeps tucked deep inside prove too big for Albert to accept if she tells him about her past, or will his love overcome any secret she holds?
This is a sweet little gem of a story. Ms. Bush has devised a well-thought out plot with delightful characters. The Maid’s Quarters is very fast-paced and easily read in one sitting, and one you will not want to put down.
My only problem with the story is that I would have liked a bit more character development. Of course, it is a novella and there was not much time to show a full character arch for the heroine or the hero. This book would have made a fantastic full length novel.
Nonetheless, it is a very entertaining story, and I am so glad I decided to read it. If you enjoy sweet romances with a very satisfying ending, then you will like The Maid’s Quarters. Happy reading!
Alice Porterman looked at Mrs. McKinnell. “What do you mean Ma and Jimmy aren’t living here anymore? It is our house!”
“They’re living in two rooms at the back of the church, Alice. I would have taken them in here, but I have no room, none at all,” Alice’s mother’s closest neighbor said to her. “You better get them, girl. Jimmy wasn’t doing well the last time I stopped by. Your mam can hardly leave him to get victuals or go to work. I’ve been shopping for her when I can.”
“Thank you, Mrs. McKinnell. I’ll go right away.” Alice turned and looked at the narrow two-story home where she’d grown up. “I’ll just put my bags in the house,” she said, and started down the walk that separated the Porterman and McKinnell homes as she had just arrived from the train station coming from Washington.
“Nay, you can’t, girl. They’ve changed the locks. Your mam couldn’t even get back in to get your brother’s medicine. Leave your cases on my porch. I’ll have one of the boys carry them in and we’ll keep them here until you’re settled somewhere.”
“Thank you, Mrs. McKinnell,” Alice said, red-faced. “I will get them as soon as I get this straightened out.”
“Don’t worry, Alice. Just get your mother and brother back home where they belong.”
Alice nodded and kissed the plump, red-headed woman’s cheek. “Thank the Lord you were here to help Ma.”
“It’s nothing. Neighbors do for neighbors. Your mam would do the same for me, she would. So, your mother had Jimmy read me the letter she got from you that those rich nobs are paying you without you even working for them. La-de-dah! And look at them skirts of yours! That is fine wool, is it not, with them lacy petticoats sticking out? And a pretty little hat to boot!”
Holly Bush writes historical romance set on the American Prairie, in Victorian England, and recently released her first Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Twitter - @hollybushbooks
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Holly-Bush/e/B006ZDTQ1A/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
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